Latest Rail News

The Chicago Transit Board approved a three-year contract with Progressive Industries, Inc., to provide the agency with ‘green' general purpose liquid cleaner and odor elimination concentrate for use in the cleaning of buses, trains and facilities.

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October 8-11, Washington, D.C., Metro will install a new track switch, repair and upgrade its platforms and conduct make landscaping repairs on the Blue, Orange, Red and Yellow lines to improve long-term reliability and service. The track switch on the Blue and Orange Line that will close the Farragut West, McPherson Square and the lower level of the Metro Center Metrorail station is work that was recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board to improve rail safety. There will be no train service through those stations on the Blue or Orange Lines.

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As part of the Sound Transit 2 plan approved by voters in 2008, Sound Transit is starting the formal planning process for mass transit between Northgate and Lynnwood, Wash. Sound Transit invites the public to attend a hands-on planning session to learn and comment about:

• Project purpose and schedule


• Areas that may be served by future stations


• Criteria for reviewing alternatives


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October has special significance for the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), whose 10,000 members play a vital role in advancing the nation's transportation, water and energy infrastructure projects. October is International Right of Way Month, and in acknowledging the industry's role in bringing essential infrastructure projects to life, IRWA launched a Project of the Year Competition.

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Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 from 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008. Although highway, rail, aviation, deaths declined, pipeline and marine fatalities showed an increase.

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Union Pacific will continue its aggressive investment in American transportation infrastructure by reigniting its double-track initiative on the Sunset Route in the Southwestern United States. With an investment of roughly $18 million by the end of this year, Union Pacific will complete the double-tracking of nine miles of this premium line in Imperial County, Calif., and another nine miles in Maricopa County, Ariz., with more work planned for 2011. This project is part of $2.6-billion to be spent by Union Pacific in 2010 to support current and future freight transportation needs of its customers.

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Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said that a total of $3,009,763 will be coming to Iowa to cover the cost of repairing damage to some of Iowa's smaller railroads sustained during 2008's historic storms and floods. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration, and was initially appropriated in the 2008 Disaster Appropriations bill. Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds transportation initiatives.

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New Jersey transportation officials said Oct. 5 they had indefinitely suspended about 100 state-funded road and rail projects in their early stages as the cash-strapped state grapples with how to pay for needed infrastructure improvements over the long haul, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

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Bridge or tunnel? The city of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., seems poised to plunge into another contentious debate over the best way to get people past a body of water, the Sun-Sentinel reports. A decade ago, the fight was over what to do with the 17th Street Causeway over the Intracoastal Waterway. Today, it's the Florida East Coast Railway and a proposed commuter train that needs to cross the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale without being held up by boats.

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The New York MTA, which is about to raise fares, wasted at least $722,000 on a safety program so fatally flawed it should be scrapped, a scathing report concludes, the New York Daily News reports. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority routinely miscalculated how well contractors were doing in preventing accidents and curbing injury-related costs on construction projects, the MTA inspector general's office concluded. As a result, contractors got larger bonus payments than they deserved.

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